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Victoria renewed a $700 million contract for its controversial myki transport card without doing a review of the eight-year-old, much-maligned system.
That's partly because the premier's department couldn't find the original business case.
A damning auditor-general's report released on Thursday said Public Transport Victoria was told to do a "post-implementation review" comparing the business case with what myki actually delivered.
Instead, operators NTT Data won the process to run the system again until 2023, and the review wasn't started until seven months later and is still ongoing.
"This means that the new myki contract, which came into effect 1 January 2017, has not been informed by the lessons from a PIR, even though it could have been," Victorian Auditor-General Andrew Greaves said in his report.
PTV told the auditor-general it was unable to verify with the premier's department if a document it had from 2004 was the original business case.
When Myki was rolled out across Melbourne in 2010 it was more than $500 million over budget, behind schedule and without the promised option of single-use tickets.
It still has no mobile website or app to allow commuters to easily top up their accounts.
The Public Transport Users Association says "major pieces of functionality" - such as a mobile website, a mobile app, automatic capping of weekly fares and an option not to print receipts when topping up - are still lacking.
"It does nothing to instil confidence in the government that their own authorities are unable to review documents to a multi-billion dollar system that many thousands of Victorians use every day," PTUA spokesman Daniel Bowen says.
"While it was important for PTV to ensure ongoing running of the Myki system, it's very concerning that this process was rushed."
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan says the new contract has stronger performance measures, and the operator will now bear any unexpected costs.
"The new contract is stronger, provides a better deal for Victoria and paves the way for major improvements to myki," she said in a statement.
But the opposition says the auditor-general has listed the things the government should have done but didn't.
"It's a significant missed opportunity that we didn't undertake a performance review of myki's original objectives," opposition transport spokesman David Hodgett told reporters.
PTV has accepted the auditor-general's recommendations.
This article first appeared on www.sbs.com.au
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